Elbow Gloom

A couple of weeks ago, I developed a little dry patch on my elbow. It wasn’t painful, just a bit itchy. I blame Berlin’s insanely hard water for this. However, I only have myself to blame when it comes to what happened next. I found some sort of cream in a drawer and rubbed a bit in before going to bed. When I woke up, I looked around the room for the bowl of acid someone must have dipped my elbow in while I was sleeping.

My fairly innocuous dry patch, about the size of a one cent coin, had turned into an angry, seeping, bloody, open wound. I did not think this was good.

Hmm, not good.

Mammy O’Grady has always sworn that salt and water can cure pretty much anything (“Got leprosy?” “No problem, put a bit of salt and water on yourself and you’ll be grand…”) so I decided to follow her advice. Unsurprisingly, my elbow did not like this much. I decided to leave it uncovered so it could heal naturally and went about my business.

Me: Umm, I’ve done something a bit stupid. 

Colin: What?

I showed him the offending elbow.

Colin: Sweet Jesus! F***! What the bloody hell is that?! Did you burn yourself? 

Me: Nah, I had a little patch of dry skin so I put some cream on it. My elbow disagreed with this course of action. 

Colin: Dear God, it looks like a burn. Go to a doctor, woman! 

Me: Nah, it’ll be fine. I’ll get some aloe vera tomorrow. That should calm it down a bit. ‘Allo, Vera! 

Colin: But, but, it’s all fluffy…

Me: Yeah, I decided to leave it uncovered so it could heal naturally in the fresh air – under my jumper and coat.

Colin: But the fluff…

Me: Yeah.

Over the following couple of weeks (yes, weeks. I know…), my elbow and I embarked on a voyage of discovery. Every morning, I’d wake up to find out what it had morphed into overnight. Scabbing, leaking, bleeding, peeling, cracking – my elbow developed quite a repertoire of repulsiveness. When it reached the point where I could hardly bend my arm, I decided it was probably time to see a doctor after all.

Just before 8 a.m., I trotted the ten seconds down the street it takes to reach the closest one. Despite the ungodly hour, this is Germany so there were already six or seven people ahead of me. I sat down to wait, wondering why a random baby beamed at me and jigged up and down every time I looked at him. Guess it’s just the effect I have on men of all ages…

After an hour, Frau O’Grady was called. I didn’t think there was much point in trying to explain my stupidity so I just whipped out my elbow there and then.

Ah, how far we had come together…

After recoiling in horror only a little, he declared that it was probably infected. I agreed.

Doc: Funny, you’re the second Irish person I’ve had in here today. For weeks on end, no Irish people, then two of you show up on the same morning. 

Me: We’re like buses. 

He prescribed me some cream and large, sterile wound dressings and I was good to go. I was to put some cream and a new dressing on it each day over the weekend and be back in his surgery at 9 a.m. on Monday morning to check what mischief my elbow had got up to in the meantime.

Prescription in hand, I strolled over to the chemist’s across the street. My eyes popped a bit when I saw the total on the display but I assumed that it was a leftover from the previous customer. There’s no way a bit of cream and some plasters could cost over €78, right?


Thinking I might have to go back to the doctor for a newly-formed heart condition, I paid up. Grudgingly. The worst part was that the cream was only €4 which meant that the stupid dressings were almost €75. With 25 of them in the pack, that works out at almost €3 a plaster.

These things had better be made of gold.

The next morning, after showering, I put the first diamond-encrusted dressing on my (now much happier) elbow. I bent my arm to test it and it fell off. I threw €3 in the bin and put on another one.

With my elbow now healing nicely and another doctor’s appointment in the morning, I think I will probably have around 20 of these bad boys left over. My new plan is to build a little house with them (they are waterproof) and try to make back the money I spent on them by saving on rent. I’m just not sure I’ll have much elbow room…


38 thoughts on “Elbow Gloom”

  1. Oh, my, I hope you threw the original cream out! Whatever it was, thank god you didn’t put it on your face 😉 You might hang on to those expensive plasters … in case you get another scratch 😉 So glad you’re healing. Are you on a vacation now? I am so out of the loop these days …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was in Malta for just under a week! Teaching conference and then a few days holidays – so lovely to have sunshine and warmth in November! Back to drizzle and grey now – standard 😉 Back to the doc’s again on Monday – sigh. Four visits for a stupid elbow. Think I should just cut it off. Easier all round 🙂 Where have you been?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You may have noticed that you really need your elbow so don’t cut it off … otherwise you’ll have a lot more visits to the doc 😉 I do hope it’s healing or is healed.
        Yeah, I’ve been absent. Some personal issues have kept me away from blogging but also all the crap that’s going on in the U.S. Just when I think things here can’t get any worse or ridiculous …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, watching from this side of the pond is like watching a soap opera – unfortunately it’s real! Hope your personal issues are resolved. I know the feeling! Elbow is on the mend I think but I guess I’ll get the verdict from the doc tomorrow! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I should explain … I’m okay (well, except for some age-related discomforts … sigh) but a family member is going through a rough time and I’m preoccupied by him and his situation. I do think I need to surface, if only for a while. I’m starting to get emails that only have the subject line “Are you ok?” … 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ha, yeah, that happens these days! Not on FB for 3 days and everyone thinks you’re dead 😉 I had an email from a blog reader I’d never spoken to before asking if everything was OK because I hadn’t posted in a while – sweet though 🙂 Hope your family member is OK, or will be!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Goodness gracious me! Your elbow looks horrendous. ‘So glad it’s now on the mend, but €75.00 for the dressing? Send it back!!

    It must be something in the Berlin air though as a few months ago, “something” bit me in the garden! I thought nothing of it as I have sensitive skin, and just gave it a little scratch. A few days later, I saw a boil on my left leg, so hopped off to my local G.P. She was on her hols, but a young doctor was happy to pop it open, and plaster it.

    2 days after that, not only had the boil turned into a huge monstrosity, but I now had two of them. On both legs! I went to the Red Cross department of the nearest Charite Hospital, and wasn’t in the least worried, until they strapped a “this person belongs to this hospital” label on my wrist, and an office-full of doctors started coming in and out of the room, and starring at my ankles!

    Thankfully, after about 5 hours of blood sampling, injections, and what-not, I was sent home with antiseptic cream, sprays, plasters and bandages. Cost: €12.00 for the spray, and my dignity having to show each and every person my ankles!

    My husband and son found it hilarious though, so that’s something!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Fucking pharmacies are a rip off. It’s a bad idea to buy anything that’s not an actual licensed drug at a pharmacy. It’s not for nothing that, when something’s really expensive, we say, “das sind ja Apothekerpreise!”


    1. It’s getting there! Doc said the infection is clearing up and put a different kind of dressing on it – is humid dressing a thing or did I misunderstand something?? 😉 Looks like I will have 20 of the other bloody things left over!


    1. Must have a look in my “medicine chest”, which is virtually empty 🙂 Thought it was the same cream I used before with great effect. Now thinking maybe I bought a tube of acid at some point by mistake 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! It looked worse than it actually was I guess! My own dumb fault for trying to sort it out by myself! Typical me though 🙂 Hopefully in another week or two it will be OK!


  3. Oh dear… 😖 What on earth was the first cream you put on it? I dread to think… 😳 Glad to hear you’re on the mend now. How can they possibly justify that cost for sterile dressings? 😳😳😳😳😳😖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thought it was the cream I had for dry skin last winter but it could have been something else that looked similar! I’m crap with stuff like that 🙂 And god knows – really hope I get the money back! Could take a while though – and still the two doc’s appointments to pay for and whatever else he prescribes tomorrow! ARGH!


    1. He didn’t show any sign of it if he did! He was probably still in shock after the sight of my gangrenous monstrosity though, bless him 😉 It’s so much better already – this cream is wunderbar!

      Liked by 1 person

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